Jabo’s on fire, much to Curle’s surprise
CARLISLE boss Keith Curle revealed even he has been baffled by Jabo Ibehre’s start at Carlisle after the striker grabbed a hat-trick in an enthralling draw with Cambridge.
The frontman’s treble was complemented by a Charlie Wyke strike, as Carlisle came from behind on three separate occasions to cancel out goals from Luke Berry, George Taft and a Barry Corr double.
Ibehre – who had already netted three times in two games prior to this contest – stole the show and his boss was full of praise for his talisman.
“If he keeps this up we might have to sell him again,” joked Curle. “He is benefiting from the movement of the whole team, but the amount of goals he is scoring is sensational.
“We haven’t been doing finishing sessions and Jabo won’t be doing one for a long time at this rate.
“Some of the mistakes we make are bad, but I want us to play without a fear factor, so that will happen.
“We are adapting to a new philosophy of football. Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Cambridge got the party started, when winger Harrison Dunk beat two Carlisle men on the left flank before floating a cross towards the unmarked Corr, who nodded in from 12 yards.
It was soon two, when a floated free-kick was only partly dealt with by the hosts and Taft smashed in a deflected effort. But having looked dead and buried, Carlisle sprung into life in dramatic fashion.
A searching cross from Patrick Brough found Wyke short of space, but his heavy touch laid the ball off perfectly for strike partner Ibehre to smash home.
And the imposing Ibehre added his second of the contest moments later, nodding in another fine delivery to draw his side level.
Parity lasted less than a minute, however, after Ryan Donaldson robbed Luke Joyce and fed Corr for his second and the halftime advantage.
Wyke soon brought Carlisle level again after turning and firing low past Beasant but tide turned again when Berry seized on more slack home defending to slide home for the U’s. However, Ibehre was determined not to finish on the losing side, thundering home from 18 yards for his hat-trick and a share of the spoils.
“It could have been more than 4-4 for both teams, it was just one of those games,” said Cambridge boss Richard Money.
“We knew they were going to play a certain way and when we decided to press and go up against them, there was always a danger of a goal-fest.
“I’m not sure if it’s a point gained or two lost, but the fans have had their money’s worth, so that is positive.”
STAR MAN JABO IBEHRE